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Pay-for-performance Results Lower When Productivity is the Focus

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, November 25, 2009

However, the researchers found that the greatest improvements were found among those groups that placed less emphasis on physician productivity—and greater emphasis on clinical quality and patient experience. When financial incentives were paid directly to physicians—rather than being used more broadly- they found that putting too much emphasis on physician productivity actually had a negative impact on the experiences patients had when visiting their primary care provider.

Keeping in mind the current healthcare debate on Capitol Hill, Rodriguez said that quality improvement and reimbursement reform efforts "should integrate patient reported experiences of care as a central metric for evaluating reform effects."

Janice Simmons is a senior editor and Washington, DC, correspondent for HealthLeaders Media Online. She can be reached at

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